Tired of those adorably saccharine puppy and kitten webcam shows? The Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon has set up a streaming camera showcasing their cantankerous 40-pound giant octopus, Deriq. Behold the OctoCam!
Octopuses are curious, smart - and strong. They're able to take apart even the smallest mechanical component, and seem to do so simply to entertain themselves. It was a challenge to come up with a housing that would protect the camera from the octopus - and vice-versa. Most commonly available hardware is made of metals that break down in seawater and could poison the octopus and his invertebrate tankmates.
So our OctoCam team had to get creative. They designed a special camera housing from a stainless steel electrical box. To prevent zinc contamination from the steel, the box was coated with a special marine-grade powder coating. The bolts that hold the box together are made of non-toxic nylon, with all the edges filed off so the octopus can't unscrew them. The box is also strong enough to withstand the crushing strength of the octopus tentacles in case he decides to give it a good squeeze.
Here's a video of the aquarium's unwitting reality star rebelling against his paparazzi overlords. You are not a number, Deriq. You are a free cephalopod.